Jump to section

What is Surgical Tumor Removal?

Surgical tumor removal in cats is the removal of a growth of cells from the cat’s body. A tumor is an accumulation of cells that have begun rapidly dividing in a localized area for unknown reasons. The tumor can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous), but the veterinarian may choose to have the mass removed even if the tumor does not possess a cancerous nature. The veterinarian may remove the tumor in the hospital or clinic, or refer the cat to a veterinary surgeon specialist. 

Surgical Tumor Removal Procedure in Cats

  1. The feline will be administered an injectable sedative before going into the pre-surgical area. 
  2. Once the feline is sedated, a member of the veterinary staff will take the feline to the pre-operative area to have an esophageal tube placed. An esophageal tube will be placed to allow oxygen and gas anesthetic to be delivered to the feline. 
  3. The feline will be taken to the surgical area where she/he will be placed on the surgical table and restrained (as even anesthetized patients can move when they are in a state of “sleeping”).
  4. The feline’s fur will be shaved over the affected area and scrubbed with an antimicrobial solution. 
  5. The feline will be hooked up to oxygen, followed by a gas anesthetic to allow her to relax and rest comfortably without pain during the surgical procedure. 
  6. The area around the tumor will be draped with surgical cloth and the tumor removal will begin. 
  7. The veterinary surgeon will use a scalpel blade to remove the tumor and possible the surrounding tissue depending on the feline’s surgical plan. 
  8. Once the tumor has been removed, it will likely be prepared for a biopsy to further diagnose the nature of the growth. 
  9. The open area of the cat’s skin will be cleaned and the veterinarian will place sutures as needed internally, followed by skin closure. 
  10. The feline will be removed from gas anesthetic and gas anesthetic as soon as the anesthetist is positive the cat’s vital signs (heart rate, breathing rate, temperature) are normal. 
  11. The esophageal tube will be removed and the feline will be allowed to recover in a quiet area. 
arrow-up-icon

Top

Efficacy of Surgical Tumor Removal in Cats

The efficacy of surgical tumor removal depends on the individual cat and the nature of the tumor. In general, removing any tumor (cancerous or non-cancerous) will prevent the surrounding tissues and organs from being affected, resulting in secondary health issues. If the feline’s tumor is cancerous, removing the tumor will ideally remove the cancer and prevent the cancer from spreading. Ask your veterinarian about the efficacy of surgically removing your cat’s tumor and the probability of a positive outcome. 

arrow-up-icon

Top

Surgical Tumor Removal Recovery in Cats

Surgical tumor removal in cats may require a period of hospitalization after the surgery. During this time, the veterinary staff will monitor the feline and administer pain management medications paired with antibiotics to prevent infection. Once the feline is allowed to return home, her/his physical activities will be restricted and an Elizabethan collar will likely be worn to prevent the feline from ripping out the stitches. Prescribed medications will continue at home as directed by the veterinarian. 

arrow-up-icon

Top

Cost of Surgical Tumor Removal in Cats

The estimated cost of a surgical tumor removal in cats will include the pre-surgical biopsies that were taken to establish the nature of the tumor, which will cost a cat owner around $50. The size of the tumor will also be taken into consideration, as larger tumors will cost more to have removed than small tumors. A small tumor that is no greater than one inch in diameter will cost approximately $125, whereas a medium sized tumor of one to three inches could cost about $325. A large tumor may cost $525 or more to have removed and an extra large tumor, greater than five inches will cost $725 or more depending on the surgical procedure. 

arrow-up-icon

Top

Cat Surgical Tumor Removal Considerations

Your cat will need to be placed under anesthetic for the duration of the surgical removal of the tumor, as well as, any biopsy procedures that were completed prior to the surgery date. The removal of a tumor will completely remove the fast-growing, potentially cancerous tumor from the feline’s body, however, recurrence is possible. It is important to discuss the outcome of the surgical tumor removal in your cat with the veterinarian. 

arrow-up-icon

Top

Surgical Tumor Removal Prevention in Cats

As scholars are still researching how cancer is developing he feline body and why it affecting so many of our pets today, the information available believed to prevent a tumor from growing is not always effective. Most veterinarians recommend a healthy, balanced diet and daily exercise to prevent the chances of feline tumor development. However, even the healthiest of felines can be affected by tumors despite the active work of the pet owner. 

arrow-up-icon

Top

*Wag! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!.

Surgical Tumor Removal Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

question-icon-cta

Ask a Vet

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

tux cat

dog-age-icon

Seven Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Seizures

he had his first seizure yesterday we got medicine but he still twitches. I just want to know how much it would be to remove it?

July 30, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

1 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, without knowing what kind of tumor your cat has, where it is or anything more about him, it isn't possible for me to let you know whether surgery is possible, or what it will cost. It would be best to have your cat seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine him and see what is going on. They will be able to give you a better idea as to options once they have seen him. I hope that he is okay.

July 30, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Socrates

dog-breed-icon

moggy

dog-age-icon

16 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Critical severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Swollen Toe

My cat is 16 years old, he has a lump in his toe which is causing him pain, and he often avoids putting weight on it, and licks it constantly. The vet at first believed it was a nail bed infection, and when the antibiotic he prescribed did nothing, he said that it was likely a metastasised tumour, with the primary source coming from the lungs. He has the start of kidney failure (according to blood tests we had not long ago.) I would like to know if the risks of putting him under antibiotics are increased because of his age and kidney problems? Furthermore shows no signs of lung disorders (rapid breathing or difficulty etc.) What are the chances that the signs of lung cancer will show up on an xray or MRI/ CT scan? And if i did opt to amputate the toe (if the lungs aren't the primary source, and it is just a tumour on his toe), would the area likely have difficulty in healing after the removal if it has metastasised, or would the wound break down? How often is that the case? (Our vet said regularly, but i'm unsure if this is actually the case.) And if i chose for him to keep the toe, how long would it take for the Metacam to cause his kidneys to shut down? Or for an infection to occur in the toe area?

Sept. 19, 2018

Socrates' Owner

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

monster

dog-breed-icon

Short hair tabby

dog-age-icon

10 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Swollen

my vet says that my cat hase a tumor over his left eye and theres not much that can be done what are your thoughts?he gave him a steroid shot that worked for 10 days now its back.

Sept. 9, 2018

monster's Owner

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Luna

dog-breed-icon

mixed

dog-age-icon

12 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

3 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

None

12 yo Luna has a walnut size lump midway on her back. It’s rubbery, no tenderness, and I can put my fingers around it. She is otherwise fine. A 5 minute vet visit determined surgery to remove it and the vet couldn’t assure me it was benign. I asked about needle aspiration biopsy but he said he would have to put her out for that and it was best to remove it so it wouldn’t affect other organs eventually. I am confused.

Sept. 8, 2018

Luna's Owner

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

T.

dog-breed-icon

Domestic long hair

dog-age-icon

16 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Lump On Neck

Our 16-year-old cat as a cancerous tumor on her salivary gland. she's also renal disease stage II for which she receives supplemental fluids once a week as well as cardiomyopathy, but after evaluation by the oncologist and the cardiologist she's been ruled eligible for surgery with some adjusted protocols for anesthesia. We are taking Erin next week for the final evaluation with the surgeon at which case it is very likely that the surgery will proceed as well as potentially a CT scan. I realize this is a very general question, but I'm wondering if she does have the surgery what a typical recovery might look like. I understand that she will have a collar to not scratch at the stitches but will the stitches be covered the way they would be in a human surgery? Will she need to wear the collar at night as well? She's not super active given her age so I'm not too worried about her jumping up on things or whatever but I would love some details about a typical recovery from surgery for a cat this age with a salivary gland tumor.

Aug. 29, 2018

T.'s Owner

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Bleu

dog-breed-icon

Siamese

dog-age-icon

11 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Weigt Loss Not Eating, Vomiting
Weight Loss, Not Eating, Vomiting

My 11 yr old Siamese began vomiting frothy liquid occasionally here and there & then it became more and more often & we noticed her lack of appetite & weight loss. We brought her into the vet, where they did a blood panel where everything looked pretty good except a rise in monocytes. They could not feel any blockage or mass externally. Two weeks after that appointment she lost 2 more pounds and seems to gag at the smell of food & refuses to eat, but does drink water. We brought her back to the vet this am & they rx’d anti nausea med & a appetite stimulant. She still has zero interest in food this afternoon. We are now just waiting to get scheduled for an x-ray & ultrasound. I’m very concerned as she’s now retreating into my closet. Has anyone experienced the same symptoms in their furry friend? I’m praying that her condition can be reversed. She’s Siamese and I really hoped she’d live to be 20 yrs. Do you have any insight into what may be wrong with her?

dog-name-icon

Kitty cat

dog-breed-icon

DOMESTIC

dog-age-icon

12 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Critical severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Trouble Breathing
Trouble Breathing, Cancer

My 12 year old cat had issues breathing last week. We went to the vet and they removed fluid from Around her lungs. They told us she had a mass in her chest and it is lymphoma. They prescribed a steroid and after 4 days the fluid was built back up and had to be drained again and sent us home. We really do not know what to do at this point. Would it be worth it to see an internal specialist and see if surgery and chemo is an option? Could an otherwise healthy cat make it through surgery?

dog-name-icon

Robert

dog-breed-icon

Domestic Tabby

dog-age-icon

13 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting, Weight Loss

We have a 13 yr old male cat. He vomits about once every 3 weeks (sometimes once a week) and we noticed that he has lost 1lb of weight. He also passes gas a lot and his tummy grumbles on occasion. During a checkup they felt a mass. We’ve done blood work as well. The mass was an incidental finding as the blood work and ultrasound and ct scan show that it is probably IBS (b12 low and some thinkening is the intestinal walls). The mass is on liver and they say it has a benign shape but it’s big (9.6cm x 10.3cm x 4.4cm lobulated, mixed fluid and soft tissue attenuating mass). He is otherwise healthy and has a very healthy appetite and good energy. They want to do surgery to remove the mass and also do a biopsy on the intestinal wall. What is your advice? Should we less invasive by treating the potential IBS and then see how he reacts? I don’t want to put him through surgery if we can avoid it, especially since he is 13. But I also worried about the size of the mass - though it isn’t bothering him from what we can tell.

dog-name-icon

Fearless

dog-breed-icon

domestic short hair

dog-age-icon

7 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Puss Out Of Ear, W
Puss Out Of Ear, Weight Loss

My cat is a stray I took in a little over a year ago in AZ. He had ear mites. One ear never got better. He was loosing weight and icky stuff coming out if his ear. He's FIV positive. A love bug, wonderful boy who deserves to be loved. The vet says his ear isn't doing well because if a cancerous tumor. U fired the vet after reading that her license had been suspended for two years. Have removal of tumor set for day after tomorrow. Any idea of survival and approx how long?

dog-name-icon

Precious

dog-breed-icon

short hair

dog-age-icon

12 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

None

Ok my cat precious is 12 1/2 years old we just went to vet today as we discovered a lump on her upper chest, vet did biopsy says it’s a tumor says it’s probably benign says should be removed even so my question is: do I put her through a surgery when she’s perfectly healthy happy and normal otherwise? I’m afraid to have done cause what happens if something happens during surgery? After it? any suggestions please comment as I’ve got scheduled for June 13th...

How can we help your pet?